Tomás Eloy Martínez – RIP

Tomás Eloy Martínez the author of Santa Evita and the Novel of Peron has died. The New York Times has an obituary. I’ve been meaning to read the Novel of Peron one day, since I own it.

Interweaving factual reporting and magic realism with meditations on myth, history and the quicksilver nature of truth, Mr. Martínez’s two most famous novels explore the lives of Argentina’s two best-known and most enigmatic figures. The first, “The Perón Novel” (Pantheon, 1988; translated by Asa Zatz), originally appeared in Argentina in 1985 as “La Novela de Perón.” It centers on Gen. Juan Domingo Perón, the Argentine dictator who held the presidency from 1946 until he was deposed in 1955, and again from 1973 until his death in 1974.

The second, “Santa Evita” (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996; translated by Helen Lane), was published in Argentina in 1995. It explores the life — or, more accurately, the afterlife — of Perón’s second wife, Eva. Both were best sellers in Argentina and have been translated into dozens of languages.